New Model News

Redesigned 2021 Cadillac Escalade is a tech-filled chonky boi

The Cadillac Escalade has been completely redesigned from nose to tail of the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

This Escalade is more than just a rebadged Yukon with some sleek interior accents. The 2021 Cadillac Escalade furthers the story of the luxury large SUV, expanding the SUV's footprint and loading it with first-in-class tech that should give the automaker a much needed buyer infusion.

There are things about the Escalade that have remained the same. It is still built on the same platform as its General Motors brethren - the GMC Yukon, Chevrolet Suburban, and Chevrolet Tahoe. It also shares a platform with the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra.

2021 Cadillac Escalade The Escalade rides on the same platform as the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

That frame is a solid start and while it defines the dimensions of the vehicle, there are shared body panels with the Suburban, Tahoe, and Yukon, it shows off what General Motors does best and worst with its new vehicles. Product engineers share parts as a cost-cutting procedure. In this case, the frame is okay but the exterior body components hold the chonky Cadillac back, only allowing its uniqueness to shine at the face and tail.

The front of the model is unmistakably Cadillac, projecting forth a fresh take on the grille and headlight hallmarks that were shown on the 2021 Cadillac CT6 when it debuted last year. Twenty-two-inch wheels are standard.

Cadillac has given the Escalade a, independent rear suspension and available Magnetic Ride Control, adaptive air suspension, and electronic limited slip differential.

Its new frame has allowed engineers to give the SUV 40 percent more third-row legroom (up 10 inches) and 68 percent more cargo space than the outgoing model.

2021 Cadillac Escalade The model features design characteristics that are rooted in the brand's modern heritage.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

The Escalade is powered by a standard 6.2-liter V8 that achieves 420 horsepower. A 3.0-liter turbo-diesel power plan is available. These are some of the same engines available in other GM products. Both engines are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

The Escalade's interior was influenced by the Cadillac Escala concept, which debuted at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It features eight color and trim choices, which include unique seat designs, with custom perforation and quilting patterns.

Cadillac is also touting its soft-close doors, which feature two electric motors.

Front and center in the 2021 Escalade's dashboard is a first-to-market curved Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) screen. It offers over 38 aches of display area with twice the pixel density of a 4K television. The one large screen is home to three smaller screens: a 7.2-inch-diagonal touch control panel driver information center to the driver's left, a 14.2-inch-diagonal cluster display behind the steering wheel and a 16.9-inch-diagonal Infotainment screen to the driver's right.

2021 Cadillac Escalade A single large screen fills the dashboard and contains three smaller screens.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Because of the color saturation of the screen and its curved quality, Cadillac says that there is no need for the typical screen hood design found in most cars with an infotainment or driver's information screen.

There's also an available AKG Studio Reference system. The AKG brand has long been used to provide premium audio quality for musicians in the studio and the company is bringing that high-quality engineering to the Escalade. The system consists of 36 speakers powered by three amplifiers that deliver 28 channels. The Escalade's standard AKG Studio system includes 19 speakers and a large enclosed subwoofer, powered by a 14-channel amplifier.

Cadillac has also worked with sound engineers to provide microphones throughout the cabin of the Escalade that work to amplify the sound of passengers so that no shouting is required to talk amongst each other in the cabin.

Front passengers get control of their own sound system volume knob in models equipped with the Reference system.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Buyers can get up to 36 speakers in the cabin of their Escalade.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

The technology list doesn't end there. Drivers will be able to order their Escalade with augmented reality-enabled navigation, which uses live street views with directional overlays to enhance the system's driving directions. Surround Vision allows for a 2 megapixel bird's-eye view of the vehicle's surroundings.

Buyers can opt for the Trailering Integration Package, which offers up to nine camera views including hitch guidance. The package also offers an integrated trailer controller, tire pressure and temperature monitoring, and an Extended Side Blind Zone Alert.

The Escalade can be purchased with Super Cruise driver assistance technology, the only hands-free system in the segment. The technology has been upgraded for the 2021 model year.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Super Cruise is the country's only hands-free driving technology available in a mass market vehicle.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Escalade is also available with a rear camera mirror, night vision (infrared technology that spies pedestrians and large animals in the path of the vehicle at night), and dual-12.6-inch rear entertainment screens that can mirror Android smartphones.

Cadillac will offer the Escalade in five trim levels. Sport and Luxury models will have unique appearances. Escalade Sport models get a black mesh grille and black trim across the exterior. Escalade Luxury models have a bright Galvano finish.

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade will launch in the third quarter of 2020. Pricing will be announced closer to its on-sale date.

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Cadillac will be the first brand with Ultra Cruise

General Motors

Tesla has been in hot water for a while now for shenanigans pulled by owners abusing the automaker's advanced cruise control functions. While the company's Full Self Driving (FSD) tech isn't quite ready for primetime, other automakers are catching up – quickly. Today, General Motors announced Ultra Cruise, its advanced driver assistance tech that promises to allow hands-free driving in 95 percent of driving scenarios.

Ultra Cruise Ultra Cruise will build on Super Cruise functionality.General Motors

GM notes that its goal is to eventually roll the service out to all paved roads in the U.S. and Canada. When it launches, the service will work on over two million miles of roads, which could nearly double as the program expands.

Ultra Cruise will offer a host of automated driving features that build on Super Cruise:

  • Dynamic display system
  • Ability to react to permanent traffic control devices
  • Follow internal navigation routes
  • Maintain headway and follow speed limits
  • Support automatic, on-demand lane changes
  • Support left and right turns
  • Support close object avoidance
  • Support parking in residential driveways

The system uses LiDAR, radar, and cameras to build a 360-degree, three-dimensional picture of the world around it. An additional LiDAR unit is located behind the windshield. GM notes that a big part of the system is its Human Machine Interface (HMI), which communicates with the driver to alert them when they need to take control. Ultra Cruise-equipped vehicles will do this with a head-up display that helps drivers stay focused on the road, and will use the same driver monitoring cameras that are used in Super Cruise.

Ultra Cruise Ultra Cruise will enable hands-free driving in the majority of driving scenarios.General Motors

Ultra Cruise will first be available in Cadillac vehicles starting from 2023. There's no word on pricing or specific vehicle availability at this time.

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The QX60 is all-new for 2022.

Infiniti

Infiniti has released detailed specs and features for its all-new QX60 SUV. The upscale family hauler will land later this year with a reasonable starting price, updated tech, a nicely appointed cabin, and plenty more. The automaker offers its new SUV in four trims, each of which is available with all-wheel drive: Pure, Luxe, Sensory, and Autograph.

The QX60 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 295 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available, and all models get a new nine-speed automatic transmission. Infiniti says that the gearbox has a low first gear that helps deliver better acceleration and power off the line, and taller upper gears for smoother cruising on the highway. The revised all-wheel drive system is more responsive and engages more quickly than the system in the previous model.


2022 Infiniti QX60 The QX60 gets leather and several luxury features as standard kit. Infiniti


An upgraded interior is in the cards for the new QX60, as all models now get leather, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel as standard equipment. Front passengers' backsides are treated to Infiniti's excellent zero-gravity seats and a stiffer second-row seat frame reduces vibration and noise in the cabin. Infiniti says that the cabin itself has more sound-deadening materials and thicker glass in the second row, which together yield a 7 percent improvement in noise on the highway.


2022 Infiniti QX60 A digital gauge cluster comes on all but the base model.Infiniti


A 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen is standard that runs wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Six USB ports, nine speakers, HD Radio Bluetooth, voice commands, and SiriusXM radio are also standard. All but the base Pure trim level come with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and the top Autograph model gets a 10.8-inch full-color head-up display and a smart rearview mirror.

The new QX60 goes on sale this fall in the U.S. and Canada. Pricing starts at $47,875 for the base Pure model and tops out at $64,275 for the top Autograph AWD trim.

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